Is "Radical" Christianity a Form of Legalism?

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Have missional leaders gone too far in their call to radical faith in Christ?

A recent Christianity Today cover story by Matthew Lee Anderson has sparked a discussion around the growing “Radical Christianity” movement in evangelicalism (and beyond). It’s a conversation that has been brewing for years, but appears to have finally come to a head, at least in Christianity Today (CT).

Much of the discussion stems from David Platt’s best-seller, Radical. Other books and authors are mentioned (Shane Claiborne, Francis Chan and Kyle Idleman, among them), but when it comes to being a “Radical Christian,” David Platt is the guy most people immediately identify with that phrase.

Now, let me say that I know David, Francis and Kyle (my inteview with Kyle is here), so I have some personal bias. Regardless, let me weigh into the conversation because I am passionate about both missional and radical ideas and how they are lived out.

In his article, Anderson notes what spurred the movement. Radical “incited and tapped into a widespread dissatisfaction with many Americans’ comfortable, middle-class way of life and the Christianity that so easily fits within it.” I believe this to be a fair and accurate statement.

In and of itself, I would think that Platt would also agree. And this dissatisfaction is not even a bad thing.

However, the question is how do we deal with the issues? And that is where the criticism enters.

Anderson concludes his article saying:

For us in the pews, testing ourselves must include deliberating about our vocations and whether we are called to missions, or to a life of dedicated service to the poor, or to creating reminders with art and culture of the gospel’s transcendent, everlasting hope. Discovering a radical faith may mean revisiting the ways in which faith can take shape in the mundane, sans intensifiers. It almost certainly means embracing the providence of God in our witness to the world. The Good Samaritan wasn’t a good neighbor because he moved to a poor part of town or put a pile of trash in his living room. He came across the helpless victim “as he traveled.”

We begin to fulfill the command not when we do something radical, extreme, over the top, not when we’re really spiritual or really committed or really faithful, but when in the daily ebb and flow of life, in our corporate jobs, in our middle-class neighborhoods, on our trips to Yellowstone and Disney World — and yes, even short-term mission trips — we stop to help those whom we meet in everyday life, reaching out in quiet, practical and loving ways.

Another notable detractor of this “Radical Christianity” is Dr. Anthony Bradley.

In a recent article in World magazine, Dr. Bradley writes:

… Some religious leaders have added a new category to Christianity called “radical Christianity” in an effort to trade off suburban Christianity for mission.

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Ed is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN.

More from Ed Stetzer or visit Ed at http://www.edstetzer.com/

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  • Andrew

    Thanks for sharing, Ed.

    The word “radical” can be helpful or confusing. helpful if we give it a biblical meaning, confusing if it creates two classes of Christians.

    We know from God’s Word that all regenerate, followers of Jesus who repents and believes the gospel of Christ (not any different gospel that Paul condemns) are commanded to love The Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And to love our neighbors as ourselves. To preach the gospel to every creature, and to make disciples of Jesus who the same thing.

    So to be radical is to truly desire and love Christ more, repenting of sins, believing his Gospel, depending on the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow in Christlikeness and obedience to His Word in every entire being and living that out in response to God’s love. The question is, Is God sanctifying me every moment of my life and conforming me to the image of Christ, loving God more, or am I becoming more like the world, loving the things of the world? Do I truly live every moment for the glory of God? Can I honestly say, that He is my magnificent obsession and I am consumed by knowing and loving God, and making Him known according to His Word, at any cost and expense to myself, including my life? Or do I have the fear of man and a desire for self-preservation, at the cost of compromising what the Spirit is speaking through the Word? God knows our hearts. And believers whom we are in fellowship with also knows.

    Apostle and spiritual father Paul’s exhortation to son Timothy.

    Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a PURE HEART.. (II Timothy 2:22 NKJV)

  • wShannCap

    I believe David and Francis are trying to teach people the real meaning of “Christian”. We must be led by the Spirit according to the Scriptures. Too many people today are taught that their salvation is their own business and that is not what Christ taught us. I also quit reading Christianity Today a couple years ago when they proved their liberal agenda by publishing two articles in one issue; one declaring that Obama was not a muslim but in fact a Christian, the other supporting gay marriage. So when they accuse Chan of being legalist I have to say, “Consider the source”.

  • http://www.thediscipleproject.net/ Paul Turner

    Isn’t saying Radical Christian a redundancy? I mean, in this society if you love some one who hates you, pray for those who use you, and turn the other cheek, ism’t that pretty radical by any cultures terms?

    • Peter Mahoney

      I would absolutely agree with you Paul… As a term, “Radical Christianity” would be on par with “Total Depravity”. Biblical Christianity, lived out intentionally is going to be appear “radical” to those who are outsiders as well as the nominal Christians who populate churches here in the west.

  • Brian

    I still don’t understand what you mean by people trying to “shame” Christians into living radical lives for Jesus. If it causes complacent Christians to feel uncomforable in their lukewarm faith, then that is a good, and very Biblical, thing. It’s NOT unloving to make people feel uncomfortable!! Jesus Himself would have been considered as trying to “shame” or “guilt” people into obedience by this thought process….and probably even worse. Our Savior didn’t mix words when He spoke. He spoke in love….but it was a tough love. It was what people needed to hear to be woken up. He didn’t condemn…but He NEVER hid the truth either.
    Yes, there is a fine line between this type of love and using manipulation and fear instead. But i haven’t seen anyone come close to the line Jesus Himself set, let alone cross it. I think we in the Church need to revisit what God’s love really is all about. Because it appears a large portion of Christianity is missing the boat…

  • PastorKAH

    To me “radical” Christianity is not a call to legalism, but a call to biblical discipleship- a call to come out of comfortable “Sunday” Christianity to be an authentic follower of Jesus. It’s not a call to poverty or some aesthetic lifestyle but a call to live and love others with intentionality, desiring to bring the message of the gospel (its grace, its forgiveness, its call to trust and follow Jesus) to the people we meet and encounter every day. That it what I understand to be missional or radical Christianity. Nothing new or added, but a call back to the essence of what it means to be a Jesus follower.

    • pastorKAH

      I will say that for some to live missional or radical may require a radical change in lifestyle or job or location. Living as a follower of Jesus will be different from the world, just consider Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. He challenges us to think differently and to live life differently than those who live according to the principles of this world. The ultimate standard of missional or radical living is to love as He loved. What a difference that will make.

  • Ibeawuchi Aja

    Where can this word “legalism” be found in the Bible? I think that whenever somebody is pushing the people to return to the core Biblical truths, people will begin to label him with the naturalistic words. We have been living to love people, this has been the choice word to those who opposed the Christian worldview. Each time somebody wants the people to show where they stand… people will begin to call the person extremist. People talk about love, and we are not seeing the love through their actions. The people elect their leaders because they said that they are Christians and compassionates, the same people will move to push to legalize pornography, homosexuality etc. The Church will never discuss on such rather they will begin to attack anybody that is moving in the right direction. The Lord Jesus Himself said this:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth (Revelation 3:14-15). Is it a hidden truth that America is heading to the same way of Europe? To me I do not see anything wrong in what people were calling the radical Christianity, and the reason was based on the extremism of the word “Grace.” So many people have understood the word grace to be unmerited favor alone, but why the unmerited favor, they do not care to understand. When the people begin to read the book of Isaiah 61:1-2 and compare it with the gospel of Saint Luke 4:18-19. They will begin to understand that God was coming to judge the world, and as Christ Jesus came into the world. He put a hold to that judgment (read Luke 4: 18-19 again and see that the word judgment was missing so that we may receive grace) in order to offer the world grace so they may change their attitude towards God and their fellow human beings. So the very word grace should be understood in this way so that we must not always exchange it for what it`s not rather see it as the time period we must return to obey the words of the Sovereign Lord before the coming judgment (Romans 1:18). So radicalism is not the best word at this time that materialism is the topic in the Churches when the average Christian do not know the difference between the God of the Bible and the Allah of Islam. At the same time most people thought that God is love and cannot send anybody to the hell fire.(this also is the sermon that people love to hear in order not be seen as radical Christians) To this end I do wonder why should there be judgment, why would one waste his or her time, and gives up on everything to seek the face of the Lord if there will be no rewards for the righteous and the wicked? The truth of the Word of God has never been on personal imagination, but on what God says in His Word.

  • tdsutter

    IMHO, we do a disservice to the Gospel when we make it one-sided. The Church on the Left focuses on Orthopraxis while ignoring Orthodoxy. The Church on the Right focuses on Orthodoxy while ignoring Orthopraxis. (I realize theses are broad generalizations and, I am sure, there are notable exceptions.) But when we allow ourselves to get caught up in an “either/or” question regarding our response to the Gospel, we are guaranteed to miss at least half of the Gospel. IMHO, the fullness of the Gospel calls us to practice both Orthopraxis and Orthodoxy without promoting one at the expense of the other.

  • alhatesreligion

    Giving your life over to someone else (Jesus) is radical. Walking after the Spirit and not the flesh is radical. Putting others first is radical. All this can be done without leaving your suburban homes, executive professions, or having to become impoverished. What makes one believer better than an other? Now I agree there are some of us who are okay with being consumers but I feel the Holy Spirit will be the agent of change in their lives.

    The Platt’s, Chan’s and Driscoll’s can not set themselves up as spiritual police officers who mandate how we are to live out our faith-they can only teach the precepts of God and allow the Holy Sprit to convince, and convict the heart’s of people.
    God has plenty to say about what we should and shouldn’t do we do not need preachers who add their own likes and dislikes.

    • Brian

      I believe you misunderstand their intent. Because that is EXACTLY what they are saying. Be WILLING to give it all up, and then, if you believe God is telling you to do so, THEN act on it.
      Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Roy

    Do the work of an evangelist….Pretty simple. As usual, we are good at taking something SIMPLE and making it difficult. Radical? To me Radical would be changing the stats> Barna reports 97% of Christians don’t share their faith with the lost. It would be radical to change that around.

    Jesus shared AS He lived. Folks, we don’t need to go somewhere to share the Gospel, we should share THE GOOD NEWS AS we go somewhere, to the drug store, food store, work, school, that is our mission field and we have a failing grade. No wonder our country is so ungodly, no wonder we don’t see a movement of God in our society, because WE keep our mouths shut and only mention the NAME that is above every name on Sunday among believers.

    Radical would be for pastors to share their faith ONE ON ONE and teach their people to do the same. Radical would be 97% of Christians loving others to the Lord. We don’t need more programs or Christian philosophies, we need to free our people to be real in this country/world, and speak the truth in love.

    Pastors, great messages will not encourage your people to action, otherwise this country would have been revived long ago. Pastors, please be an example of the believer in modeling Acts 1:8 and keep it before God’s people. Make the Gospel clear and test your people for what they know/believe, you may be surprised.

  • dr.keithcox

    Sometimes living a life of what we call “quiet obedience” may be disobedience. Jesus didn’t say, “I want *some of you* to make disciples.”

  • Jeff

    I understand this tendency toward “judgmentalism” (probably a more accurate and Biblical term than “legalism”). I had a man in our congregation once who said that he didn’t know why more Christians were as committed as he was. He didn’t understand why they didn’t tithe like he did and do other ministries as he did. In his bearing and tone I recognized a kind of pride showing thru, so I addressed him this way: “2 Corinthians 3:18 ‘But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ When I read that passage of describing us going from glory to glory I visualize a staircase where I get closer to God step by step. Now some Christians are down on the main level. They are new to the faith and haven’t progressed much beyond that floor level. But as we spend time with Christ we tend to go up the stairs, one step at a time. Fred (not his name) you see yourself as several stairs up the way and you’re looking down on those who haven’t come as far as you have. But your job is not to condemn them, but to find ways of reaching down and helping them up. By contrast, there are others who are several steps above you and your job is to figure out how they got there and make your way up to that level. That’s what Hebrews means when it says “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24)

  • CB

    In the Air Force, we used to mark the bullseye on a bomb range with a small shack to faciltiate the bomb run. When the target was struck perfectly, we called it “shack.”

    Shack.

    Had some folks who caught this fire in our parish…great ministry, but no one could have any other ministry, or they were judged. We couldn’t erect a new building, because that extra cash could fund their street ministry better…and so it went. They couldn’t be part of the community where they were members because they were always off chasing the latest parachurch street ministry. Finally it came to a place where we had to say ‘no”. The Biblical truth was that we are to do good, but first in the household of faith.

    I love the emphasis on preaching the Gospel as they travel. Right on.

    • Brian

      That would be a case of taking it to the opposite extreme, which is also wrong. But that isn’t the intent of this “movement” at all. It is simply to call people to “Love God, and to obey everything He has commanded”….just as the Bible says. There will always be people who take it too far, or who add to it, as well as those who try to take away from it. But that doesn’t make the essense of the teaching false, nor does it invalidate the truth of it in any way.

  • audie

    Is “Radical” Christianity a Form of Legalism?
    Yes.

    • Brian

      ANY form of Christianity can be a form of Legalism. All it takes is doing it FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will obey everything i have commanded you.” We should, and must, obey what God has commanded. But if we do it for any other reason that as an outflow of LOVE of our God, then it is essentially legalism.
      So this “radical” Christianity isn’t legalism. It is calling people back to “radical” obedience…based upon a love relationship with our Savior. That IS the Gospel, not legalism….

      • audie

        Really? So, are we to assume that you do things only for the right reasons? That you never do anything for the wrong reasons? That you always and at all times obey what God has commanded? And is this “radical obedience” really what you think the Gospel is?

  • consumer87

    Controversy is good for business.

  • amos8

    “Radical ‘incited and tapped into a widespread dissatisfaction
    with many Americans’ comfortable, middle-class way of life and the
    Christianity that so easily fits within it.'”

    There is some truth here, but there was also a lot of truth in what Satan said to Eve in the Garden. So let’s be clear what we mean.

    For many, but not all, “Radical Christianity”/Missional = the social gospel/social justice.

    Perhaps nothing is more evil and deadly than exchanging the true gospel with a works-based, focus-on-what-is-temporary/fleeting “gospel” (Gal 1:6-9). Many of the names in the article started off with a strong understanding of the true gospel, but I fear where they are headed (e.g. the way of Shane Claiborne, “The Hole in our Gospel,” etc).

    • Brian

      That’s not at ALL what they are referring to. This is anything but a “work based” gospel. Did you read the “Radical” book? If you did, you would know that’s not the case….

      It is calling us to ADD the social justice to our Christianity…just as Jesus did, and instructed us to do. Instead of sitting in churches, giving a little money/time here and there, and that’s it, these folks are calling the Church to “Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength”…with everything we are.

      • amos8

        “Social Justice” is not only exceedingly anti-scriptural, is not only exceedingly destructive (if not deadly), it is NOT taught by Jesus, nor was it EVER taught or lived or attempted by His followers in the book of Acts (and beyond).

        Yes, LOVE! Of course! But love does not equal social justice. SJ is a political/liberal notion. The Apostles/disciples taught and preached the gospel of salvation (eternal focus). They never tried to change inner cities or change the government or change society, not once!

        • Brian

          I think we are referring to different things. What I am talking about, and what the “radicals” are talking about, IS loving people…

          • amos8

            We all agree on “loving people” but we (i.e. the church, or even society as a whole) do NOT agree on what it means to love people. Missional may seem to be loving, but it is the opposite of loving (if we go by certain definitions of this word/teaching).

  • Steve

    Here’s something to ponder. If following Jesus is legalism then how can we follow Jesus without being legalistic? For the love of Pete, so many “Christians” use “legalism” as a cop-out for obeying the commands of God. The title of this article really gets under my skin. The reason why the unsaved world cannot tell the difference between Christians and non-Christians is because those who claim to know Christ don’t live as if they know him. And evidently, if they do, they are labeled “legalists” by other believers. So someone please enlighten me, how can someone follow the commands of Jesus (which are “radical” by the way) without being “legalistic?”

  • Deana Callins

    “Settle” all disputes among yourselves. Put an “End” to all things, feelings, and thoughts that lead to the disturbance of your peace. By knowing, The Covenant of his Grace: “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:10)
    The Lord Loves ALL and will not take sides in unprofitable disputes. But, he will give you healing if your hurt, strength to forgive, forgiveness, love, and peace for the situation. when you focus on him and not the problem. Follow after peace with all men.

    1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without “respect of persons” judge according to every man’s work:

    James 2:1My brethren, have “not” the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, “with” respect of persons.
    For his Kingdom is not Divided or else how shall it stand.
    Jesus didn’t ask us to Trust in others; He did say “LOVE” All as you Love yourself.

    We might as well learn how to “Love inspite of; as Jesus”. For as we have Eternal Life of those who Believe. We Shall Never Be separated from the Love of God; nor each other in Heaven. So Settle it in your minds that we are ONE IN CHRIST. God blesses us. We still should be thanking him for what he has already done. We are free from all Fear!!!

    • Deana Callins

      It Is Written: For God so “Loved” the world.
      It didn’t Say; this person or that denomination. And when we get to Heaven. It Is and going to be ALL ABOUT JESUS as it is in Heaven. As it should Be “In Earth”.

  • Tom

    I’m a 57 yr old “boomer” who came to faith 39 years ago tomorrow. I got plugged in as a student and then staff member of a campus ministry that was on the cutting edge of “radical” for its day. I got involved with a cutting edge church where a key idea was to “do something so great for God it is doomed to failure unless God be in it.” That was and still is a common mindset among many evangelicals. I appreciate that “call to faith”, but the reality is that most people live their lives in the routine of life. What is RADICAL is learning how to experience and reflect Jesus in the mundane. My wife and I will soon celebrate 34 yrs of marriage and we have 6 grown kids (7 grandkids); that a lot of poopie diapers and routine moments of life. We spent 11 years doing missional church planting overseas. Is that Radical? For us it was following our giftedness and desires of our hearts. In the calls to doing “great things for God” we must not forget that God calls us to basic obedience in the mundane aspects of life- the daily grind of marriage and family and work.

    “Husbands love your wives; fathers don’t provoke your children; wives respect your husbands and be submissive; submit to one another in Christ; do all things without grumbling or disputing; do your work heartily as for the Lord”.

    While those may seem routine they truly are doomed to failure unless God be in them. We don’t have to look very far to find a great thing for God; we do need to live in communion with our great God so that even the routine things are pointers to His grace.

    Many of us are like George Bailey (IAWL) – young and idealistic he wants to do “great things”, but ends up doing the mundane in Bedford Falls only to learn that his mundane faithfulness is RADICAL.

  • gracealoner

    I think it can become a type of legalism. The last “Right Now” conference I attended seemed to make the gospel central to Christianity. Demonstrating the love of Christ is an important part of Christianity, but it is not what it is all about. Christianity is all about Jesus and what He has done for us and what He will do for any sinner who comes to Him. It is interesting to note also that Jesus said that the world will know that we are His disciples, not by our love for the world, but by our love for one another. Christians loving Christians. If anything we should focus our “radical faith” in demonstrating “over the top” “radical love” to other Christians, especially those who are suffering for the faith, not just the poor and needy because they are poor and needy. I am concerned about the radical movement that the focus of what the gospel is really all about might get obscured.

  • http://www.sharonbrobst.com Sharon Brobst

    I have read both Chan and Platt they were challenging, thought provoking, life-changing and biblical. They call us to live as Jesus calls us to…and that’s Radical. I never saw them as “pushing” legalism. Did we sell everything, move to the inner city, quit our jobs, cancel our vacation? No. If we felt God calling us to do any of those things we would have. On the other hand it did make us take a deeper look at how we spend our money, what we spend it on and begin to work toward a more “simple” life. A debt free life.

    When we are not spending our money on bigger, better stuff we don’t even need then our money is available to be used for God, above and beyond our “tithe”. But it’s not just our money, it’s going down the street and picking up a shovel and helping your neighbor dig post holes. Or it’s seeing a homeless woman sleeping on the beach (while your vacationing) and taking lunch during the week to her. Talking with her, listening to her story. It’s about keeping our eyes open and aware of the needs around us then reaching out and doing what needs to be done without first considering what it might “cost” us.

  • Joey Kennedy

    I really love this. As a pastor in a rural area I believe we need to step outside our comfort zones and allow Chist Jesus to have his way in our lives. Thanks and God Bless you.

  • Deana Callins

    But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. James 2:8-10
    These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.Proverbs 24:22-24
    To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.Proverbs 28:20-22
    The anger of the Lord hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.Lamentations 4:15-17
    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Acts 10:33-35
    But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Colossians 3:24-25

  • Rodney

    Great article! I completely understood what you were saying and greatly appreciate the tact behind it. In my opinion I believe we have to guard ourselves from ‘labels’ that are not verbs in action. The terms ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ are not new. And they are not be used as labels but rather a call to action. When we start having conferences and making the headlines for people that want to be ‘missionalists’ I believe we miss the missing of the call to action and that’s where ‘some’ can see that as ‘legalism’

  • kc1950

    I am sure I am oversimplifying…However, do the “Radical-” , “Missional-” not need a few of us “comfortable”, “suburban” Christians doing our best where God has placed us in our day-to-day lives to support others “radical”, “missional” projects? Are we so set-in-our-ways staid that they would not accept our non-radical support?

    • Brian

      Again, you miss the point. It isn’t about everyone giving up everything in all cases. It’s about everyone being WILLING to give up everything, and to commit their entire lives to God, being free to do, say, and give where and when He asks. So of course not everyone will be called to go. Some will be called to give and send those people. The ENTIRE point is, every person be 100% willing to do whateveer God would ask us to do. That’s all.

      • kc1950

        with all due respect…I have given my life willingly to God. I have two jobs, live in the middle class suburbs and due my utmost to help others Christian and non-Christian alike because I feel that is what Jesus would have me do. Because I can’t go myself…I donate to the Salvation Army for OK. relief. I resent other “Godly”??? people telling me that because I’m Not willing to move to the inner-city or leave tomorrow for Africa that I am not Radical or Missional enough. And Just being willing is not enough either…there must be some kind of action! Faith without works is dead (See James). Kc

        • Brian

          According to the “radical Christianity”, you would be 100% with them, because this is EXACTLY what they are saying. Be looking for ways to share the Gospel, and be willing to do as God promptss you to do it.
          It sounds like you’re right on, bro!!!!

  • Ryan

    I guess radical is stepping into a place considered dangerous and/or uncomfortable. Everyone is focused on the hyper-active loud-mouth extrovert as he screams the gospel out and charges full speed ahead through the gates of hell. For me, radical was leaving the comfort and safety blanket of church to live quietly like Abraham, Issac and Jacob, just big sky and God. I stepped outside my introverted comfort zone and rubbed my own fur the wrong way for the last 6 years I was in church and burnt myself out. I did my part to create the covetous consumer Christian in the church I was in. I guess I found that my relationship I had with God going outside of church since my early teens just kind of obsoleted the whole church thing. I shed the church and am perfectly happy and content in having with God what Adam had before the fall. This is radical.

  • Steven Leapley

    In my opinion, we should all reflect on the simplicity of the Gospel…and that is Jesus Christ…. If someone is teaching another way towards salvation, then lets help redirect them.. If they are on a crazy limb (like the southern pastor that burned the Koran some years back) then we need to hold them accountable.

    If they are teaching Jesus Christ…then lets try to work together…..Legalism comes not when a group of people have a certain disposition towards the gospel (like the Nazerene who doesnt drink because it could lead to drunkedness..which is a sin) but when people say that (in this example) that anyone who drinks is sinning… There is a difference!

    I am glad I read the whole article..at first I was a little frustrated..but then I real the whole thing, gained the entire perspective, and saw where the author was coming from…Now I can see and agree with his thoughts, although not all of them… I am sure we will still be in heaven together…..isn’t this how too we should read our Bible and implement it… Jesus did not come to save groups of people, He came to save the individual….

    My humble thoughts..
    Steven L.

  • Jonathan Hughes

    Whatever is legalism is not Christianity. Legalism seeks to condemn. Religious people sought to condemn Jesus. Charity is giving even as God has blessed you. It does not always mean physical things. We that are sinful give good physical things, but the things that cannot be touched are the things that have eternal worth. God is those things in us. Slightly Modified 1corinthians,13,
    4 God is Charity who suffereth long, and is kind. God is charity who envieth not. God is charity who vaunteth not himself not being puffed up not behaving himself unseemly, not seeking his own meaning seeking to love everyone. God is not easily provoked thinking no evil not rejoicing in iniquity. God rejoices in the truth bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. God in us will be like that. The woman you see is like that.
    What the religious people gave is what the legal sytem gives which is not any of the things that God through us gives. KJV, . John 18 >>14,Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
    Mark 14:1-9, the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death, John 12;10 the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
    Matthew 12:14: Luke 22:2 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Luke 11:54: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.

  • Ben

    Good morning all of you saints, and thank you all who severed and are severing our country May the Lord Jesus bless this nation in his works and not our own. My name is Ben and i am a believer in Jesus Christ washed in His Blood filled with His Spirit of God. there is a command that Jesus spoke this Is what He said and not I, If you left me up I will draw all men unto me. Now who draws who? who did all the work on the cross was it all of you and all your wisdom, now that your all so clean and washed in His blood you can act so pure and so fine. been there and I have t-shirt to prove it as the saying goes, some of you still think sin conscience, you are a sinner, even after you were excepted By The eternal God our father, you all sound oh so wise, it is freighting, again been there done that, do any of you remember when Jesus approached

    you, the road to Damascus experience, who sought who was it? Jesus looking for you?and when you said yes all of your past was gone, was it not? if all of your past was not washed away than something is wrong with your life and testimony. how many of you are really trusting God?

    how many of you saints remember Rom.8 one. read it for your selves. when was the last time you asked the Comforter to comfort you,wasn’t He sent to do just that and more?do any of you remember what was said on the cross, did no’ t Jesus say for give them for they not know what they are doing. weren’t we forgiving, or is there something some of you want to add to this through you good works. My question is this, when are you going to look to Jesus and not men? When are you going to listen to The Holy Spirit of God? why are some of you afraid to be separated from the so called flock and be come an individual in Christ Jesus. yours In Christ Ben

  • Reginald Gabel

    It is not Platt’s or Chan’s calling that is the problem… it is those who use their callings to judge others callings. As if it has to be radical or nothing… It is not about follow Platt or Chan or anyone else, it is about follow Christ. If you calling is the same as Platt’s then you would be wrong not to follow it. But we should not use the Radical movement (not meaning to be negitive) to judge someone’s calling as weak. We each have a calling and each of our calling has equal value and need in God’s eyes. The problem comes when we judge through the world’s eyes… when we judge on performance, style, numbers it is wrong. My prayer is that we pray for each persons, each groups, each churches calling and not tear each other down. It can be missions or missional, it can be Sunday School or life groups, it can be traditional or comtemprary, it can be big or small, it be dull or exciting, what we call it is not important… names will change… it should be done because God has called us to fulfill the plan His has for us.

  • Reginald Gabel

    In the video with Larry Osborne the host said he had three groups of people in his church… basically committed christians.. lasy christians and unsaved. Maybe we should look at the fact that we have only 2 groups, sinners and saved sinners and each at a different point in their journey. Can make it tough to reach and lead sometimes when so many are at different points in their walk but for that reason also is why we must teach our members have to have a personal walk with Christ and let Christ lead them instead of trying to tell them what and how to.

  • Old Sarge

    Anytime someone calls us to challenge our paradigm and lead what William Law called a “devout and holy life” we cry Legalism! If we as afraid of sin as we are of sacrifice and holiness the Church would be aflame and impacting the culture with substantial things instead of big buildings, concerts and Starbucks in the hallway.

    • Old Sarge

      Hmm, radical or nothing? There is a strong argument for that being an accurate assessment of the problem. Maybe anything less than radical is nothing.

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WATCH: The Christmas Scale

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